KUKA begins the 2018 fiscal year with a new organizational structure. With the aim of focusing more strongly on its customers in the future, KUKA is reporting for the first time on the basis of the new segments Automotive, Industries and Consumer Goods & Logistic Automation.
In the first quarter, KUKA reported sales revenues of €744.5 million and an EBIT margin of 2.1% (Q1/17: 4.7%). This represents a decrease in revenues of 5.9% on the strong previous year (Q1/17: €790.8 million).
“KUKA has grown immensely in recent years – this has put us in a very good position on the market,” says Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG. “In 2018, we will continue investing in technologies to strengthen our position as an innovation leader and to tap areas of future growth. Our new products, such as the sensitive LBR iisy for the electronics market, and our new organizational structure will help us to do so.”
Stronger focus of the organizational structure on customers
The new organizational structure is geared even more strongly towards our customers.
The Automotive segment essentially consists of the automotive business of the former Robotics and Systems segments and logistics solutions for automotive customers. The Industries division consists primarily of the former Robotics segments with the General Industry customer segment and the system integration business of Systems/Industries. The Consumer Goods & Logistic Automation division is chiefly derived from the logistics solutions of Swisslog and the Consumer Goods department in the Robotics division and develops automation solutions for intralogistics for all customer segments.
High levels of orders received from Europe and the USA
In the first quarter of 2018, KUKA Group generated orders received totaling €900.2 million. High order volumes were received from Europe and the USA in particular. Compared to the strong prior-year value, this corresponds to a decline of 6.9% (Q1/17: €967.3 million).
In the Automotive segment, orders received totaled €449.3 million, followed by Industries with €270.4 million and Consumer Goods & Logistic Automation with €157.4 million.
Sales revenues of KUKA Group reached a level of €744.5 million in the reporting period. This represents a decrease of 5.9% on the strong prior-year quarter (Q1/17: €790.8 million). The Automotive segment achieved sales revenues of €396.8 million, Industries €235.9 million and Consumer Goods & Logistic Automation €145.6 million. In particular, revenues from Europe and the USA contributed to this result.
The book-to-bill ratio, i.e. orders received in relation to sales revenues, was above 1 in the past quarter of 2018, coming in at 1.21 and thus indicating good capacity utilization (Q1/17: 1.22).
Order backlog remains at a high level
In the first quarter of 2018, the order backlog reached a value of €2,332.0 million. This was 3% higher than in the previous year (Q1/17: €2,264.1 million). In the Automotive segment the value was €1,043.4 million in the first quarter, while the Industries segment reported €536.5 million and the Consumer Goods & Logistic Automation segment €565.7 million.
In the first quarter of 2018, KUKA Group achieved earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounting to €15.3 million – the EBIT margin was 2.1%. This compares with EBIT of €36.9 million and a margin of 4.7% in the strong prior-year quarter. The decline is due in part to the lower revenues and the corresponding shortfall in the contribution to earnings. Disregarding the purchase price allocations for corporate acquisitions, the growth investments and the restructuring costs, the EBIT is €23.9 million with an EBIT margin of 3.2%. The EBIT for the Automotive segment was €26.0 million in the first quarter of 2018 with a margin of 6.6%. The Industries segment achieved an EBIT of €9.6 million. This resulted in an EBIT margin of 4.1%. Consumer Goods & Logistic Automation generated an EBIT of €3.1 million with a margin of 2.1%.
Outlook: rising demand expected from North America and Asia
For the 2018 fiscal year, KUKA is expecting demand to increase, especially in North America and Asia. Demand in Europe should also improve slightly. From a sector perspective, KUKA anticipates a positive development for the sales markets in general industry. Demand in the automotive industry is expected to remain stable.
Based on the current economic environment and business development, KUKA expects to generate sales revenues of more than €3.5 billion in 2018 and achieve an EBIT margin of ~5.5% before purchase price allocations, before growth investments and before reorganization expenditure amounting to about €30 million. The investments relate, for example, to Group-wide issues such as digitization, Industrie 4.0, mobility, general industry and China. KUKA is expecting these investments to open up additional areas of growth for the Group in the coming years, which should be reflected in higher sales revenues.